A book chapter by Jef Peeters in “The Ecosocial Transition of Societies: The Contribution of Social Work and Social Policy” (2017):


“An eco-social transformation of society should imply an answer to the crisis of the social welfare state, which comes under pressure from neoliberal recipes because of the downturn in economic growth: many services are being privatized, and the responsibility for social care is also shifted back from the state to the civil society. On the other hand, in response to the ongoing economic crisis and the related social problems, there are new kinds of cooperative economic organization developed from bottom-up. The idea of the commons is often put forward as the basis for a more inclusive and just society. And because commons follow a different logic than public and private property regimes, also the possibility of a post-capitalistic society is put forward.

The chapter will investigate the concept of commons in the recent literature; compare it with ideas of ‘sharing’, ‘collaborative economy’ and ‘solidarity economy’; evaluate the strengths and opportunities of the concept of commons with a view to eco-social transformation; especially look for its connection with social work and social policy, and for the challenges and difficulties of its implementation. This will be illustrated with examples of some new practices.”

Full title: “Thinking About Commons: A Post-Capitalist Perspective for Social Work

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